Saturday, November 23, 2013

Tips on Conducting a Focus Group

If performed properly, focus groups can be a vital part of a PR strategic plan in order to gain valuable information for your client. Focus groups can be utilized for a wide array of topics in order to gain insight on a specific issue.

Recently, I had the opportunity to be a part of a focus group and I wanted to share with you some insights and tips for when you make a focus group part of your PR plan.

Keep it small: An ideal size for the participants per focus group is between 5-7 people. If you have it any smaller, you may not be able to obtain enough useful information and may not be able to generalize what you learn. A group much larger than 7 participants may be less likely to speak up or one person may dominate the conversation.

Create an idea-sharing environment: Most focus groups are laid back in order to get ideas flowing. When conducting a focus group, be sure to make your participants comfortable. This can be done by providing drinks and snacks, or even holding it at a casual location.

Don’t go in order: It is important that questions are not read in order so that the conversation continues to flow. If another question makes more sense because of what a participant just said, go to that question instead.

Prepare more questions than you need: You never know just how many questions you will be able to get through during the time you have allotted for discussion. That is why you should always have more questions prepared just in case.

Practice: You can never be too prepared for a focus group because you only get one shot. Make sure the moderator and note taker are prepared to fulfill their duties.

Follow Up: After the focus group is over, be sure to follow up with participants. The follow up should thank them again, along with obtaining any additional information you may need.

I hope these tips are helpful. Do you have any more tips to add? Share them in the comments section below!

This guest blog post was written by PRowl Staff Member Kaitlyn Mashack.

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